What’s been happening

Today marks the year since I took my long overdued CCNA for Routing and Switching and I will say a lot has changed since then. For one, I think I have started this addiction of going for certifications or this craving to learn more.

Jeremy Cioara of CBTnuggets was right when he said, the more you know the more you will say you do not know. The IT industry is more than just Cisco and microsoft, its way more, its the cloud, its load balancers, its database, its servers, virtualisations, software driven networks, network virtualisation and much much much more. I don’t even know where to start.

If you have been following me, the plan is to go for VMware’s VCP on network virtualisation assuming I will be ready before February 28, 2015. With hiccups I have been getting from my lab on a budget and another non-IT related certificate that I need to finish this year, I am not really sure if VCP-NV is feasible.

Another option I am looking at is Cisco’s Design path, take CCDA then Arch to get CCDP. It is not a bad cert path considering I only need to go through 2 exam to get my 2nd pro-level cert from cisco. However, that would not balance me out, I wanted a non-cisco cert like VMware or something else.

I have been going out there looking for opportunities outside my current work. I need a more consistent pay and schedule. To be fair, I enjoyed working for only 3.5 days a week and getting paid as much as a full time employee but uncertainty is just stressful. Let us just wait and see.

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Random stuff

This blog has nothing to do with technology, just whining stuff. Yesterday I did post something about my vmware lab. I was so excited to set everything up only to find out I am having issues with ESXi. I currently have 4 nics + 1 on-board nic on my server. Of all the nics, only the on-board one can be detected by ESXi.

I’ve searched the web for possible solutions, apparently vmware stopped support to some NIC cards. I do not know if this has something to do with discouraging people from setting up labs on a cheap. I am just frustrated. I’ve tried doing a customized install using the exsi customizer with the vibs of my NICs, that did not work. I am basically stuck with my single NIC card. I would have to wait it out til monday once I get back to school and maybe someone might have a solution.

Meanwhile, I am stressing out over this other Certification I have to finish for work. Nothing to do with technology just something I need to do for work. Its supposed to be an easy Cert but its just darn paper work. All I have to do is put my time into it (which is something scarce at the moment). I have to finish 10 workbooks and I am still on book 1, hoping to have everything done in a few weeks.

I have always wished that a weekend would come and all I have to ever think about is how to spend it with my family and my backyard. Lately it has been, how to finish everything I have to finish as soon as possible.

my vmware lab on a budget

It is hard to do labs when you are on a budget. Let me share with you guys my current set-up for my VMware lab as I study for my VCP-NV.

  • Dell Precision T3500 running Windows 7, 12G ram, 2T hard drive
  • 2 2950 Cisco switches
  • 4 Gb NIC cards
  • vmware workstation 10
  • vmware vshere client
  • vmware esxi 5.5
  • Dell Optiplex 755 running Free NAS (I have yet to set this up)
  • CBTNuggets VCP-DCV course by Keith Barker
  • online white paper resource from mylearn.vmware.com website.

I am basically doing a Type 2 install for my esxi, I have 2 esxi hosts having 4G of ram each. Each esxi host, has so far 3 VMs of Darn small linux. Today I just installed the NICs so I can start doing VLANs and maybe some Etherchannel. I am still far away from configuring the awesome stuff like vMotion, DRS, storage vMotion, DPM etc.

Will keep you guys posted with this new adventure….

Log failed Log to Syslog

here is a quick and dirty config to log failed and successful attempts on your router…

configuration terminal
enable secret cisco
username cisco secret password
line vty 0 4
login local

exit

logging 192.168.10.51
logging trap notification
login on-success log
loging on-failure log

logging block-for 120 attempts 2 within 60 !—-router will create an acl to block a failed attempt for 120 sec if there were 2 failed attempt within a 60 second time span.

login delay 5 !—time interval that can be done between failed attempts

logging source-interface fastEthernet0/0

CCP Issues

Don’t you just love it when you have a student/network engineers who start whining like an 8 year old kid just because Cisco Configuration Professional(CCP) isn’t working? Yes CCP is crap and it has issues with Internet Explorer besides as future Network Engineers I doubt if you’ll use CCP in the field. But anyway here are my tips on how to make CCP work with IE and everybody happy happy.

CCP Configuration Tip no. 0.1

You can run a java test (google java test) to see if you have the most up to date copy of java, meaning plug-ins and other stuff just to make CCP work.

CCP Configuration Tip no. 0.2

If your CCP is only display half of what its supposed to display, you can go to IE, press ALT (menu bar will appear), Click Tool > Compatibility View Settings > Add 127.0.0.1

CCP Configuration Tip no 1

1. Go to Control Panel -> Java
2. Click Java Tag -> View -> Under “Runtime Parameters” type “-Xmx256m -Dsun.java2d.d3d=false”
3. Click Advanced Tag -> untick Java Plug-in “Enable the next-generation Java Plug-in (requires browser restart)”
4. Install Flash Player in IE (CCP default setting is using IE)
5. Run CCP as Administrator

CCP Configuration Tip no. 2

1. Uninstalled all Cisco products CCP SDM ASDM and CCA

2. Uninstalled all Java versions, I found 4

3. Downloaded and Installed CCleaner did a clean of files and folders using the default settings (just press clean). I also did a Registry clean again using default settings. CCleaner also made a backup of the registry too just incase.

4. Rebooted PC and then searched though C:\ Drive in various folders looking for Java, Sun, and Oracle Folders and there where quite a few and deleted.

5. Ran CCleaner again (just folders)

6. Installed Java Off-line using the latest version. Then verified install on both firefox and ie10.

7. Download and Installed Java 1.6.0_17

8. Added loopback 127.0.0.1 to ie10 compatibilty settings

9. Unchecked the ”Enable the next-generation Java Plug-in” in the Java Control Panel.

10. Go to Java Control Panel select Java > View and edit the Runtime Parameter -Xmx512m and then uncheck the Enable for 1.7, click OK (see picture)

11. In the Java Control Panel go to Security > Edit Site List >  Add > then enter inhttp://127.0.0.1:8600/  (see picture)

12. Installed CCP then ran as admin.

13. At this point Java box should pop up (select options as per pictures)

14. Discovered devices and then confirmed everything was ok by navigating through the menu’s.

VCA-DCV

VCA-DCV

VMware Certified Associate in Data Center Virtualization (VCA-DCV) what a mouthful to say for a name of a vendor cert and probably the last one for me as far as vendor cert’s concern. Yes you read it right, I just took my VCA exam actually an hour ago and passed (barely). 

I figured since I do not have the money to pay for my VCP, which is a requirement before even thinking of taking the exam. Not to mention the exam itself is more than 200+aud. I had to settle for the next best thing which is VCA. Well its a first for me, you still have to take the exam via pearsonvue. Paid $120aud which cost a limb to me considering my current financial condition:(

I went through the free online-training that vmware provided and practice exams. The weird thing about the practice exam is that you can take it 99 times but if you get 100% you won’t have access to it any more. My thoughts on the free training, it is not enough. You still have to go through other reading materials to familiarize yourself with VMware products. 

Yes, I will admit VCA seems more like a marketing certification because it just lets you master the different solutions VMware offer. It does not have lab simulations or asks you anything about configurations, mostly scenarios and what products/feature that will address the issue. 

The exam is online, un-proctored environment so you can open your notes but I think if you don’t really understand what the products are it would still be very difficult to answer the questions. It’s purely scenario based and google wasn’t much of help. Like I said I barely pass only shows I need to do more labs. 

Its a first step towards VCP5.5-DCV, which will not happen until 2015. 

Preparing for VMware Certification

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For you guys who’ve been following, this blog site started last year as a way for me to share everything my thoughts, experiences, learnings or anything basically as I go through my Cisco Certification. My blog started with the title “Road to CCNA” which changed to “Road to CCNP R&S”. 

More than a week ago,I have done my tshoot exam sealing my CCNP Routing and Switching. Being in the IT industry, knowing that technology keeps on changing, I feel that I cannot contend myself to Cisco. I have been having this inkling to get into VMware since last year. 

CCIE R&S will still be the ultimate goal however with the expense and time to get that cert, I don’t think it will be feasible…for now. 

TAFE Brisbane is a VMware IT academy and I would like to take advantage of the materials at our disposal to study for the certs. The main difference between VMware and Cisco is that before you can get your VMware Certified Professional cert, they have to make sure you went through their accredited training. That would mean spending money on training instead of just buying books or watching vids to study. 

An immediate option would be to take VMware Certified Associate in Data Center Virtualization which only requires the recommended online training by VMware academy before they allow you to take the online exam by pearsonvue. 

The goal is to finish off the year with CCNP R&S and VCA-DC to beef up my resume….here we go!!!